|On Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020 at the SL17B celebrations, the second of five Meet the Lindens sessions was held, featuring Patch Linden, the Lab’s Vice President of Product Operations.
The following is a summary of the session covering the core topics raised, with selected audio extracts. The notes provided have been taken directly from the official video of the session, which is embedded at the end of this article. Time stamps to the video are also provided for ease of reference.
Note that this is a summary, not a full transcript, and items have been grouped by topic, so may not be presented chronologically when compared to the video.
|Table of Contents
In places, information that is supplementary to Patch’s comments is provided in square braces (.i.e. [ and ]) are used in the body text below to indicate where this is the case.
A Note about the New Linden Homes Theme Announcement
The session included discussion (notably in the last 15 minutes) on the new Linden Homes theme unveiled at SL17B immediately after Patch’s Meet the Linden Session. These elements of the session are not reported here simply because people can now see the theme for themselves. Instead, I refer readers to Second Life: looking at the new Linden Homes Stilt theme in this blog.
- Originally a Second Life resident and business owner who joined the platform in 2004, and became a Linden in 2007.
- Initially worked as a support agent and then as a support liaison. From there he moved to the Concierge team, eventually becoming that team’s manager.
- Shifted focus to the role of Operations Support Manager for a year, then moved to the Product group, the team responsible for defining the features, etc., found within Second Life.
- At Product he developed the Land Operations team, which includes the Linden Department of Public Works (LDPW).
- In 2018, he established the company’s support office in Atlanta, Georgia.
- In 2020 he oversaw the move to larger office space in Atlanta, although the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic means the new premises have yet to be used.
- In 2019 he was promoted to Vice President, Product Operations, and joined the Lab’s management team alongside Grumpity and Oz Linden (see: Linden Lab’s management team expands: congrats to Grumpity, Patch and Oz).
- Together with Grumpity and Oz, he forms what Grumpity calls the “troika” overseeing Second Life’s continued development.
- In his management team role, Patch continues to oversee all of the Lab’s user support operations (some 5 teams), including the LDPW.
- Despite his longevity at the Lab, his is not the longest-serving Linden, nor is he the “oldest” resident-turned-Linden.
Working with the Pandemic
- His teams have not really been impacted by the pandemic. LL is a remote-friendly company.
- As a result the company has always thought outside of the box in leveraging their own product as a work tool – running team meetings in-world, etc., – as well as running more “traditional” tools like Slack, Discord, etc.
- Patch himself started at the Lab as a remote employee, and worked as such for around a decade prior to developing the Atlanta office.
What are the Most Significant SL Changes You’ve Seen?
- Changes in avatar appearance – particularly when looking back at old snapshots.
- The arrival of different types of new content.
- Adding Voice to Second life , which was probably one of the “bigger ground-breaking changes for Second Life as a virtual world”.
- Admits to have probably having forgotten more than he can remember, and even today is still learning – such as only recently discovering the ability to completely disable the viewer’s UI in world view [CTRL-SHIFT-U (or ALT-SHIFT-U for Firestorm) – also toggles the UI back on].
Bakes on Mesh and Personal Business
- As a resident, used to run a fashion business for male avatars.
- Still has the inventory, but has not updated the clothing styles in years.
- Has “tinkered” with Bakes on Mesh to see if it works with his system clothing designs, but does not intend to convert them for use with Bakes on Mesh and flood the market, as styles now too old.
- Has found the “playing” with Bakes on Mesh to see what does / doesn’t work with older system clothing to be interesting.
Bellisseria and Linden Homes
What is the Most Popular Linden Home Theme?
- Probably the Victorian theme, although the Log and Houseboat themes run it a close second.
- It’s hard to separate into “most popular” as the demand for all of the themes has been equal. For example, even through the Traditional theme are currently fully occupied [and presumably no plans for further deployments at this time] – there is still demand for them.
- The 4,400 introductory release of Log Homes was filled quickly. Since then, the Monday / Wednesday / Friday region releases have been taken up almost as soon as they are made available.
Plans to Link Continents / Retire Old Linden Homes
- [Note: Bellisseria already now links Sansara and Joegeot.]
- As the Linden Home continent(s) continue(s) to be built out and possibly be split up for diversity), then it / they may well continue to connect continents.
- However, as this is done, LL wants to ensure that continents are connected where it makes sense to do so.
- Overall plan is that as the new continent(s) gain occupancy, to eventually start shutting down the old Linden Home mini continents or at least compressing them, to free-up resources.
- This point hasn’t quite been reached, as there is still occupancy across the mini continents either because people are waiting to try to obtain a new home of their choice, or because they may not actually be aware of the new home, depending on their log-in frequency.
- However, even with the old style Linden Homes being retired in time, their themes may not necessarily be forgotten.
Was the Popularity of the New Homes Anticipated?
- Knew they were going to be “super popular”, so tried to put out as much as possible without overly delaying the project as a whole.
- Striking the balance is hard: on the one hand, foreknowledge of popularity dictates making a bigger initial offering – but how big? On the other, delaying the deployment means sitting on something that people could otherwise be enjoying.
- As it was, in April 2019, he felt there was sufficient quality and options in home to launch the product. This has allowed LL / LDPW to continue to improve the overall process of provisioning and deploying Linden Homes.
- This is reflected in the major release cadence from 700-1,000 in initial releases to 2,800 and then 4,400. When it comes, the Stilt Homes initial release will likely be 4,000-5,000 units.